June 9, 1945
New York Times.
Having heard the gracious words of His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor, following the opening of the Diet, I am filled with trepidation and inspiration. It is my sincerest wish to be able to serve as an administrator in complete response to His Majesty's wishes.
I was filled with trepidation when the Imperial Palace and the Omiya detached palace were set afire by enemy bombings the other day. Fortunately, their imperial majesties were not harmed and I am thankful that His Majesty has been able to conduct all state affairs in his office in the Imperial Palace.
Today our empire is facing the most critical situation in the history of our nation. The war situation gradually is becoming more acute, despite the efforts made by the whole nation, and we have witnessed the advance of the enemy on Okinawa.
However, through the courageous and brilliant fighting of our land and sea forces, together with the efforts of our Government and people, we have inflicted enormous losses on the enemy on Okinawa. The unswerving loyalty and heroism and the undying exploits of our men will long remain in the pages of history. I want to pay deep respect to their noble deeds.
There are factors in the situation on Okinawa today that arouse anxiety and we have reached a stage where wee can expect the advance of the enemy, at some time, to other areas of our mainland. The time has arrived when all our 100,000,000 people must look at the situation objectively and meet it with manifest determination.
From the very beginning the Greater East Asia war has clearly been a holy war. This has clearly been stated in the imperial rescript. The tyrannical attitude adopted by the United States and Britain at that time, as well as their evil designs, jeopardized the existence and safety of our empire.
Our empire had no choice but to take her stand and fight in order to assure her own existence and defense and to maintain the fruits of her many years of effort to stabilize conditions in East Asia.
I have served His Imperial Majesty over a period of many years and I am deeply impressed with this honor. As bold as it may seem, I firmly believe there is no one in the entire world, who is more deeply concerned with world peace and the welfare of mankind than His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor.
The brutal and inhuman acts of both America and England are aimed to make it impossible for us to follow our national policy as proclaimed by the Emperor Meiji, who said: "Our fundamental policy is based on justice and righteousness in the past as well as at the present, and that is true and infallible both at home and abroad."
This means that Japan is fighting a war to uphold the principle of human justice and we must fight to the last.
In this present war, various participating nations have cleverly declared their reasons for becoming involved in the conflict, but in the final analysis the war was brought about by jealousy, which is the lowest of human emotions.
I hear that the enemy is boasting of his demand for unconditional surrender of Japan. Unconditional surrender means that our national structure and our people will be destroyed. Against such boastful talk there is only one measure we must take, to fight to the last.
I am thankful that Manchukuo, China and other nations of Greater East Asia are standing firm by their treaties with our empire and that they are contributing a great deal to the holy war.
In the final analysis, the current war is a war for the liberation of East Asia and should it miscarry the freedom of the peoples of Greater East Asia will be lost forever. Not only that, but world justice will be trampled underfoot.
The fundamental policy of our empire for world order is the establishment of laws guaranteeing security based on the principle of non-aggression and non-menace in order to insure the co-existence and co-prosperity of every nation and every people under a general principle of political equality, economic reciprocity and respect for the traditional culture of each nation.
From this standpoint, our empire awaits the unification of China, which will be the salvation of that nation, and desires the furthering of friendly relations with neutral countries.
Should our mainland become a battleground, we will have all the advantages of geography and the solidarity of our people. In other words, we can easily concentrate a large number of forces as well as keep them supplied, which will be greatly different from the situation we faced at the outset of the war. We certainly will be able to repulse the enemy and crush his fighting spirit.
In this critical war situation, there will be a shortage of food and difficulties in transportation. Furthermore, difficulties in the manufacture of munitions will increase. But if the whole people will march forward with death-defying determination, devoting their entire efforts to their own duties and to refreshing their fighting spirit, I believe that we will be able to overcome all difficulties and accomplish our war aims.
Judging from the trends within enemy countries and considering the developments in the international situation, I cannot help feel strongly that the only way for us is to fight to the last. With this conviction I undertook the organization of the new Cabinet under the command of His Imperial Majesty.
It is truly a critical time. I wish to be able to fulfill my desire to serve His Majesty with the support of the whole people. These are the reasons that this - extraordinary session of the Diet was called, where new bills will be submitted for deliberation.